The Criminal Russia Party: Ilya Yashin’s New Report

October 27, 2016 - 4:00 pm

Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC

"The Criminal Russia Party: Ilya Yashin’s New Report"

A conversation with:
Mr. Ilya Yashin
Deputy Chairman
 People’s Freedom Party (PARNAS)

Introduced and Moderated by:
Dr. Alina Polyakova 
Deputy Director, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center
Atlantic Council

In his latest in-depth report, The Criminal Russia Party, Russian activist and liberal politician Ilya Yashin examines the nexus between Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political party, United Russia, and organized crime. Yashin’s report demonstrates that the way to fortune and unbridled power in Russia is to curry favor with Putin’s United Russia party. High-level political appointments inevitably lead to access to wealth through criminal and kleptocratic networks. Laying out numerous examples, Yashin shows how United Russia has become a political club of thieves, mafia bosses, and even thugs accused of murder. When their crimes can no longer be tolerated by the regime, many political criminals end up in jail — only to be replaced by a new group of crime bosses friendly to United Russia. Yet, even as United Russia’s political elite has been accused of committing crimes in Europe and the United States and taking advantage of the Western political and financial systems, they are still afforded diplomatic cover and protection. Western policymakers must act to close the loopholes that allow Russian political criminals access and protection.

We hope you can join the Atlantic Council and the Free Russia Foundation for this important and timely discussion.

On Twitter? Follow @ACEurasia and use #ACRussia

Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street, NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator)
Washington, DC 20005 USA

This event is open to press and on the record. 

Metro and parking info


Ilya Yashin is a Russian activist and liberal politician in Russia. He is the deputy chairman of the People’s Freedom Party (PARNAS), which was led by Boris Nemtsov until his death last year. In 2005, Mr. Yashin co-founded the civic youth movement Oborona, and until 2008, he was the leader of the Yabloko Party’s youth wing, where he organized mass protests and spoke to the media about the party’s causes. In 2012, he was elected to the Russian Opposition Coordination Council. An active participant in Strategy-31, a campaign for freedom of assembly, Mr. Yashin was arrested on December 31, 2010 for demonstrating in Moscow at one of the campaign’s rallies. He was taken to a police station and detained for fifteen days, leading Amnesty International to declare him a prisoner of conscience. Mr. Yashin was arrested again on October 27, 2012 with Alexey Navalny while attempting to join a Moscow protest. After Mr. Nemtsov’s death, Mr. Yashin continued to work on Mr. Nemtsov’s report, “Putin. War,” about Russian involvement in the Ukraine war. In February 2016, Ilya Yashin presented the report “Threat to National Security” on Ramzan Kadyrov in Russia amid protests and a bomb threat.

Alina Polyakova is the deputy director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and senior fellow of the Future Europe Initiative at the Atlantic Council. She publishes frequently on political developments in Ukraine and Russia and on populism, nationalism, and identity in Europe. Her writings have appeared in major publications and academic journals including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the American Interest. Dr. Polyakova is an expert on far-right movements and parties in Europe and author of the book, The Dark Side of European Integration. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Swiss National Science Foundation senior research fellow. She has been a fellow at the Eurasia Foundation, National Science Foundation, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Fulbright Foundation, among others. Dr. Polyakova was a faculty member and senior research fellow at the University of Bern, Switzerland. She holds a PhD and MA in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in economics and sociology from Emory University.